Turbine moved its North American and European Lord of the Rings Online datacenter to New Jersey last month, and things appeared to be going well. The European servers were scheduled to move to Amsterdam, but Turbine decided to nix that move.
As Executive Producer Athena “Vyvyanne” Peters announced in a forum post today, Turbine’s still learning how its new system operates with domestic and international ISPs and has seen improvements in latency for all players and thus believes the community, even that part of it that’s in Europe, is better served with the datacenter in New Jersey.
Unsurprisingly, this has elicited some strong language in the comments, from EU and non-EU players alike. While some are cautiously giving Turbine the benefit of the doubt, many are calling the company “corrupt” and “incompetent” for promising improvements for EU players before yanking them away. There are also the usual “I’ll take my business elsewhere” calls… though, honestly, if you’ve stuck with LotRO for this long, is this what’s going to break the oliphaunt’s back?
I can grasp that plans change, even on this kind of short notice, but I’m not going to rush to Turbine’s defense here. Even if there is a real, legitimate reason for cancelling this move, it deserves more than a quick forum post, when it was obvious that the anger would be so vitriolic. MMO gamers treat “promises” as sacrosanct, and reneging on them — even if it’s the right choice — brings out the worst reactions.